26 Feb MTB v Swimming v Athletics….
Mountain biking, the world’s fastest-growing recreational, sport and tourism activity for Western Australia. Yes, there are a lot of riders riding out on the local trails. Yes, the demand for experiences significantly exceeds supply. But with the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, where does mountain biking fit in relation to the swimming, athletics and other major sports of the Games?
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research company. Their research has uncovered that mountain biking (and cycling) takes the Bronze behind ‘Jogging, marathons, running, athletics and track & field’ taking Silver, and Swimming taking Gold in participation.
The findings of the Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2017 (n=15,169) report discovered that cycling and mountain biking has nearly 3.1 million Australian participants. With the approx. split of approx. 1.9 million men and 1.2 million women experiencing two-wheel fun and fitness demonstrate the groundswell for mountain biking (and cycling) experiences.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan says “Australia has high hopes of returning to the top of the medal tally after surrendering leadership in the Commonwealth in 2014 for the first time since the 1980s. The strong participation rates for sports and activities including cycling and mountain biking, jogging, marathons, athletics, track and field, basketball and table tennis – all sports being contested on the Gold Coast – augur well for a high degree of interest in the Games.”
The increased grassroots participation rates in mountain biking (and cycling) are the third largest in Australia. Therefore, the ability to produce mountain bike riders with the strength and capabilities to challenge the world’s best at the Commonwealth Games and onto the Olympic Games is stronger than ever. Especially with the development of strategies such as the WestCycle High Performance Strategy. Junior athletes now have a defined pathway to allow them to reach their potential and achieve their goals.
Two mountain bike athletes were named in the 36-strong Australian Cycling Team to contest the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. With the findings from the Roy Morgan analysis and the ever-increasing participation rate in mountain biking (and cycling), the future looks bright in seeing more Australian mountain bike athletes kitting up in the Green and Gold.